I'm from Vermont, the state that was the very first to allow civil unions for gays and lesbians. I was a journalist during the debate that preceeded this becoming law here, and I was also still involved in the Witnesses at that time.
I remember covering a few very important forums on this - you can imagine that it was with a bit of trepidation that I attended my first gay marriage forum - in a church of all places. When I got there, I was a bit taken aback to realize that I knew at least half of the people there. There was a woman doctor I knew, a woman chiropractor, one of the executives in a company I had worked for, and several old friends and neighbors. It took the JW blinders off about who the gay and lesbian community actually is, and what their "agenda" was. All part of my education as I left "the truth."
I also covered a meeting by a state politician whose soul purpose in getting elected was to fight the gay marriage initiative. This woman was a born again Christian, and her meetings were filled with so much misinformation, hatred and ugliness that it sorely tested my objectivity as a reporter.
I remember being at a Witness get-together at the time, and there were some Witnesses there from California, saying how everyone was laughing at Vermont because of the gay marriage issue. I told this brother that the civil unions bill was very likely to pass, as well it should.
"What about Jehovah's law?" he just about shouted at me, which you might say quieted the party quite a bit.
I explained that this was a civil rights issue, and stemmed directly from the same battle that JWs had waged for civil rights.
"If people don't allow gays and lesbians their civil rights under the law because they don't like them or like their lifestyle," I told him, "guess who else people don't like? The Witnesses. And when you deny one group of people their rights, you can deny others theirs. The law and civil rights aren't there to protect the people in power, they're there to protect the minority. You better hope this law passes - or you know who they may come after next."
You could have heard a pin drop.